“Don’t sweat the small stuff”, goes the saying. Yet, I wonder.
Usually, when someone says that, it means to get beyond small problems and look at the bigger picture. Yet, it could be taken as “ignore the small stuff” as well, and that can lead to bigger problems. Small problems, like anything else, don’t necessarily go away by themselves. They have to be dealt with, or they can become much bigger problems. In fact, how many big problems didn’t start out small?
There’s another side to this, though. What about the good things? Can we take the small stuff for granted? Can we be overlooking small blessings along the way? “Stop and smell the roses” is another saying. Isn’t that a small thing, though?
In fact, could some of our trials be precisely because we have ignored small blessings? When everything else is taken away, the small blessings are all that is left. Sometimes, the blessings can be very small indeed.
Do you want to do the will of God? Then, give thanks “in every thing” (1Th 5:18). Yes, in all circumstances, find something to give thanks for.
That is in the imperative, BTW. It is a command. If we want to do the will of God, we will give thanks, and we must do so in faith. We must be obedient in the small things and for the small things.
21His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. (Matthew 25:21, King James Version)
Another saying is that if we look after our pennies, the dollars will take care of themselves. Isn’t that true in all matters, though? Perhaps if we are thankful in the little things, larger blessings will come our way.
10For who hath despised the day of small things?… (Zechariah 4:10, King James Version)
In the Old Testament, they had to sweat the small stuff. Otherwise God would punish — sometimes immediately.
Example: the ark put on the cart, instead of carried by the priests. That inattention to detail is "Why Uzzah Had to Die," to borrow from a memorable sermon by my Pastor based on II Samuel 6.
Some have carried this thinking over to the New Testament church. S.C. Johnson of "Apostolic Faith" church fame claimed if the proper words weren't said at your baptism, "Hell is your portion" — not only for you, but the minister who baptized you.
@Richard: I'm not sure what that means. Do they teach "hell" as in "eternal hell" or was this figurative? If the former, it seems like a heavy price to pay, esp. for the one baptized.
At least I can say Uzzah will come up in one of the resurrections and be forgiven. Can they?
He meant the traditional Dante's Inferno kind of Hell.
S.C. Johnson died in 1961, yet one church group kept playing his sermons in recent years at night on 50KW radio stations in Cincinnati and New Orleans. For all I know, it still might be doing that. Not even Herbert Armstrong's staunchest supporters do that.